About a month ago, I saw the front page of a local paper: "Girl's screams save her life."
I became unhappy. I was unhappy because this headline seemed to declare that if you don't scream, you aren't helped. If you don't scream, that's why it happened to you. It declared this in ignorance of a reality where sometimes, even if you do scream, nobody listens.
Every student of first-year psychology knows the name Kitty Genovese. Stabbed repeatedly and raped by a psychotic attacker, she died on her own apartment step after numerous neighbours heard and ignored her desperate pleas for help. Although now the original circumstances are thought to have been wildly exaggerated, her case is still taught as the textbook example of the bystander effect. Genovese's neighbours, perceiving that they were a group of observers, left their moral duties to others, not realizing the deadly consequences of their actions -- or lack thereof.
I wanted to seize and shake the newspaper box, and upset its pulpy insides. Screams don't save a woman. People do.
posted at 1:47:47 pm
2. As "Americana" defines itself as artefacts of American culture, "Gloriana" consists of the artefacts of my culture.
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